Breaking New Grounds, Portsmouth, NH
This is the first time this calendar year that I’m having my breakfast outside. I took the table in the far corner of the seating area, closest to the curb, for a few reasons. First, it gives me a clear view of all of Market Square. This is great for people-watching. Secondly, it gives me a perfect view of my motorcycle—of which I was going to take a picture, perhaps with my coffee and bagel in the foreground, in order to drive home how nice the weather is this morning. however, somebody parked their truck right behind it. Not only does the truck ruin the shot, it ruins parking for people behind it.
It doesn’t bother me directly. I’m parked right at the end of the spot, closest to the intersection. When it’s time for me to go, I can just scoot right out of here. But the truck is encroaching into the spot behind it, potentially fucking up parking for any cars that want to park behind it.
Of course, I’m not a big fan of four-wheeled vehicles there in the first place, this time of the year. This street, called Pleasant Street, is a wide one-way road that runs from State Street (Route One going north) to Congress Street (Route One going south, also where Market Square is). Pleasant Street is divided in two sections by a crosswalk in the middle. The section on the Market Square side has parallel parking on both sides of the street. Typically, starting this time of the year, motorcycles line both sides here. Multiple bikes can park in one spot as long as it’s paid for. I have seen a spot full of bikes with tickets on them as nobody had been keeping track and there were no “PAID” tickets on any of them.
(Incidentally, right as I got to this point the truck left. As I was about to take the picture a family moved a table to the spot right between me and my bike. I stil didn’t get the shot, but I think this was for a more valid reason.)
I don’t know why this became the bike hot spot in town, but I love how it looks in the middle of summer. But my reasons for liking this aren’t just aesthetic, they’re practical—in a city known for a lack of parking, it’s nice to know that I can squeeze my bike in somewhere. But I don’t think this goes far enough. Other cities, like Portland, Maine, convert parking spots throughout their downtown areas into designated motorcycle spots during riding season. It would seem to only make sense to do so here. I can’t tell you how annoying it is to see a row of a dozen or so bikes with a big four-wheeled vehicle in the middle. I wouldn’t even care if it was street in particular that gets converted. (That would probably not work out, anyway, as that part of the street is closed off on Saturday nights throughout the summer for outdoor concerts, anyway.) But there should be something.
But, when it comes down to it, the bike isn’t for parking but riding. By this point in writhing this blog post, the weather warmed up considerably. I’m going to finish my coffee and get going.